Certificates of origin
Trends and Issues
By Anthony Parkes
WCF Executive Director
1- 4 August 2012
1. General presentation of ICC & WCF
2. WCF’s work in the field of COs
3. Our partnership with ACCE
What is International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)?
• ICC is the voice of world business championing the global
economy as a force for economic growth, job creation and
• ICC activities cover a broad spectrum, from arbitration and dispute
resolution to making the case for open trade and the market
economy system, business self-regulation and writing tools of
trade, fighting corruption or combating commercial crime.
• ICC works with international organizations of all sizes on a host of
policy subjects (UN, WTO, WIPO, WCO, G20).
What is the World Chambers Federation (WCF)?
• Established by ICC in 1951 to be the advocate of chambers of
• WCF is a non-political, non-governmental body representing the
interests of all local, national, regional, bilateral and transnational
chambers of commerce and industry. Membership to WCF is via ICC
local representative offices in 90 countries or directly to Paris.
• WCF strengthens links between chambers, enabling them to improve
performance as well as discover new products and services to offer
• For ICC, chambers provide the voice of SMEs in its scope of work.
Knowledge & Knowhow:
The World Chambers Congress
• Held every two years in a different region of the world, the Congress is the only
international forum for chamber leaders and professionals to share best-practices,
exchange insights, develop networks, address the latest business issues affecting
their communities, and learn about new areas of innovation from chambers around
• Next Congress: 8th World Chambers Congress
Doha, Qatar, 22-25 April, 2013, www.worldchamberscongress.com
• The World Chambers Competition provides a unique opportunity for chambers to
showcase originality and ingenuity. Applications open for the 2013 Competition are:
Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Project, Best International Trade Project,
Best Small Business Project, Best Unconventional Project, Best Youth
The World Chambers Network (WCN) is the official Chamber portal dedicated
to electronic international trade.
• Chamber Directory: the internet’s most complete free registry with links to 12,000
Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade all around the world.
• GBX -The Global Business eXchange Program: a platform to showcase business
opportunities. Free for chambers to use.
• ChamberTrust: the only “B to B” verification seal issued by the participating chamber
onto the company’s website, following the chamber verification of information about a
company (existence, ownership of website, products and activities, etc…).
Participate to WCN promotion - Sell and make money!
Update your data and links - Bring money: advertisement, sponsors…
Promote your members! - Bring ideas to be deployed world wide
• The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the duty
and tax-free importation of goods for up to one year
• WCF administers the guarantee chain (71 members countries),
in close collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO)
• More than 150,000 Carnets are issued each year value
• New priority countries: Argentina, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Vietnam and Trinidad and Tobago
ICC Trade books
• ICC Guide to Export/Import
• ICC Guide to Incoterms 2010
• ICC Model Subcontract
WCF’s work in the field of Certificates of
Highlights in CO History
• 1898 - First CO - CCI Marseille
• 1923 - Geneva Convention - simplification of customs formalities
• 1999 - Revised Kyoto Convention
• 2000 - Customs authorize Chambers to issue PCOs; e- application for CO is introduced
• 2003 - Creation of ICC WCF CO Task Force
• 2006 - ICC WCF CO Guidelines published in English
• 2009 - Chambers issue eCOs; CO Accreditation Project is initiated by ICC WCF CO
• 2012 - Guidelines available in 6 languages
Chambers have a long historical expertise in issuing CO and have an international
recognition as « Competent Authorities ».
2011 World CO Survey: 20 Main Issuing Countries
15 Millions of COs are issued per year by more than 2,000 Chambers from over
Ukraine 497,900 Italy 688,555
Switzerland 248,350 Russia 500,000
Germany Korea 560,000
4 Mio 1 Mio 3,7 Mio
Hong Kong 80,000
698,054 Malaysia 50,000
ICC WCF and CO Mission
Since 1951, WCF has been working actively with WCO and Chambers of
Commerce on International Trade Facilitation issues.
The environment within which Chambers issue CO calls for urgent action as
there is no international standard for the issuance of CO.
Since 2003, the WCF CO Task Force was formed to:
• Promote, protect and enhance the role of Chambers as the natural,
competent and trusted Third Party agent to issue CO;
• Raise the credibility of Chambers’ trade documentation functions through:
- the ICC WCF International CO Guidelines; and
- CO Training Programmes
• Set up an international standard for the issuance of CO;
• Lobby for the acceptance of eCO by governments;
• Call for the liberalization of the issuance of Preferential CO to Chambers.
COs: our global challenges
A eCOs implementation:
D not recognised consistently by Customs
eCO recognition (29% of CCI’s offer eCO services)
C liberalization of PCOs issued under FTAs to Chambers
Y Major advantages customer service for exporters
R Issuing organizations:
O Chambers under constant scruting and questioning on their role
L ISO standard as a threat to Chambers and their self regulation
AEOs and the role of chambers?
COs: our global challenges
A Chamber Skills:
T Due to the development of COs per country, no
standard skills and training
I Different levels of service – « weakest links » affects
L the integrity of the global chamber movement
Setting the Standard
• Published in 2006 and available in 6 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Russian,
French and English (ICC Bookstore: http://www.iccbooks.com/Product/ProductInfo.aspx?id=299)
• First guidelines of its kind on the Certification processes for chambers.
• It incorporates the best practices from several national chambers and organizations in
the issuance of non-preferential certificates of origin.
• Recognition by:
- World Customs Organization (WCO),
- International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA),
- American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE),
- Asociación Iberoamericana de Cámaras de Comercio (AICO),
- Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC),
- Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce & Industry (CACCI),
- Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI).
CO Accreditation Chain
• Standard CO Guidelines
• Set up an international eCO standard
• Development of online training and country training programmes
• Liberalization of PCO and acceptance of eCO
Benefits for Chambers
• International inter-connection and recognition by the use of ICC WCF logo on CO
• Reinforce credibility to COs issued and raise the level of acceptance by Customs and
• Resolution of COs disputes between CCIs and Customs
• Providing additional reassurance to SME companies on the benefits of the global
chamber of commerce network in its transparent, independent, responsible and
accountable CO issuance procedures
• Supporting your chamber’s efforts nationally as well as regionally
• Participation in ICC WCF’s advocacy work with the World Customs Organization (WCO)
and regional/national customs administration to ensure the protection and promotion of
the role of chambers in the delivery of COs
• Contribution to WCF’s initiatives/programmes in providing CO capacity building and
technical expertise to chambers through peer-to-peer experience and training to raise the
level of chamber professionalism and competency in CO issuance.
Lending Chambers Credibility
and International Recognition
in CO Issuing: Priceless.
ICC WCF and ACCE
Our partnership with ACCE:
ACCE as member of the ICC WCF Executive Committee
ICC WCF recently participated as speaker in the ACCE’s eCourses on COs
Facilitating exchange of international experience and personal ties from chambers
How can we help the US Market:
Use of the ICC tools and “international” as part of economic development strategy
Use of the ICC WCF International CO Guidelines
Upcoming online training
Contact ICC WCF if your chamber has any issues with other countries
Thank you for your attention!
For more information on COs :
WCF Executive Director
WCF Project Officer